Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tues, Dec. 13, 2011

10" x 14" I'm hoping that this one retains its distinct shapes. It seems rather regal and powerful. Again, not even an inkling of a title at this time.
 A bit of gold glitter is suggesting that this be incorporated but, so far, I've resisted the actual implementation!
Also, I want to start adding 3-dimensional items (like acorns or olive pits), painted over, so that there is a bit of depth. But that won't happen on this particular piece. I like its flat visual power and don't want to interrupt  that flow.

Click on image to see it larger.

Tues, Dec. 13, 2011

Here is a new 9" x 12" work. It was completed on Friday or Saturday of last week. I enjoy its simplicity, as well as its distinct solid areas versus the amorphous, washy forms. It is nicely balanced, IMO.
 No title as of today. I'm working on two other small canvases, in preparation for a 2 week holiday hiatus in a much more enjoyable climate!

Remember to click on the image to see more detail.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thurs, Dec. 1, 2011

OK, look at the previous image (directly below today's post). This is the same painting! Sorry if you liked the previous incarnation but that's how it sometimes goes in the wonderful world of art.

 After returning from FL, I felt differently and could not complete the painting as it was. It became very burnt umber on Tuesday and today it became very burnt orange. There is a psychological and spiritual dimension to this transmogrification - but I won't bore you with that here. Let's just say that I felt a need to get the painting (and my life) under control and this is the result, as of today.

 The powder blue form emerged last and it is definitely related to the amygdala and the hippocampus glands (and how they affect our thoughts and feelings). And I feel A LOT better right now too. Good paintings are the externalization of the internal goings-on of the artist, not mere pretty things that match the carpeting and drapes. It is all too easy to make pretty pictures and not so easy to plumb one's depths and really REVEAL something that's never been expressed in such a manner. I feel good today after a very bad start. This painting works.
 As always, remember to click on the image to see a larger version.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thurs, Nov. 17, 2011

Nice parallax, eh? Oh well, at least you get a rough idea of what the painting currently looks like. As mentioned previously, I'm working on producing a hard edged, non-blurry work. The colors are not straight; they're being built up (there's a slight transparency that reveals the underpainting). It's a bit clunky but worth the effort to see where it goes/how it ends up. Exploratory. I think of Jean Arp or even some Matisse paintings/paper cuttings.

 Some of the shapes remind me of things. As an example, the blue shape on the left reminds me of a goose and the red orange one on the right makes me think of a pig. Obviously, that was not the intent!
 So take a look at this one because nothing is going to be posted for over a week. Click on the image to enlarge it. And I'd love to receive comments in the mean time...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sat., Nov. 12, 2011

Here is the painting that first appeared on the 8th. It's still not finished but it's quite close. Title is "The Three Collisions." Again, these titles just pop up out of nowhere. Two larger shapes have more or less disappeared.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Here is the newest one. 30" x 40" and using hard edge shapes. It will be interesting to see if I can truly "toe the line" and keep it that way. I'm sure I'll rework most of the colors but I want to keep all the shapes solid, solid, solid. Shapes and forms are magical. Stay tuned...

And remember to click on the photo to see an enlargement.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tues, Nov. 8, 2011

Here is another one, also 9" x 11." Things are getting crowded in the studio so I'm working smaller these days! Plus the evolution goes more quickly.
 The blue background is very brushy and fluid (click on the image to see details better). Yesterday it was much whiter but the blues reasserted themselves today. The background changed after this photo was taken - it's a bit lighter, more opaque and the diamond shape is now more faint.

It looks scorpioid to me. And I kind of see a salamander or lizard on the lower left. But, of course, there was no conscious intention for any subject matter; the shapes always assert themselves, first and foremost. As mentioned yesterday, I'd expected to work with definite, solid forms. Alas, ambiguity and watery brushwork demand their presences in this work.

That being said, there is a new 30" x 40" canvas that is expected to conform to my wishes of high contrast and sharp outline. Which is easy for me to say now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, Nov. 7, 2011

Back to the studio after 9 days in Denver. I'll bring my camera tomorrow, to post photos of new paintings.
As you'll see, the new work is quite different; kind of washy, brushy, empty. Odd. And not as I'd intended. My intention was to have these canvases pretty hard edged and precise. But there is a greater overdrive that dictates what REALLY happens, once the process begins! You could call it intuition or spirituality.

I forgot that I brought one back with me - here it is. 9" x 12" Extremely difficult to show the subtleties of color and brushwork (especially since the images always appear differently on everyone's monitors). Kind of ghostly botanical; I guess that's currently my state of mind.

Remember to click on the image, to see it larger.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sun, October 16, 2011

Unlike anything else I've painted. It just wanders around and is vague. A lot of washy stuff going on here. And rarely are my paintings horizontal (this one did not start out as such). 9" x 12."
The title is "Unknown Painting" so what else is there to say?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thurs, Oct. 13, 2011

11" x 14" and very pink, in case you didn't notice. I'm liking shades of pink and organic, floral shapes. And the fact that this work may appear to be incomplete is perfectly fine; traditional composition does not apply here. I'm trying to get out of that self-imposed stricture.
Title is "Purposely Organic," whatever that might mean. The words just pop into mind, as do the images. That's what it's all about, right? Right.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weds, October 12, 2011

Here are three current paintings; I think they are all complete. They're small - the pink one is 11" x 14" and the other two are 9" x 12." The smaller size seems preferable right now.
I'll post individual photos of these guys later. Was listening to the music of Alpha60 at the studio today (thanks to Mark Ilaug). They were kind of like a Duluth version of The Orb - unfortunately A60 are no longer around.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thurs, Sept. 15, 2011

Current painting is 24" x 36." Very simple shapes with a lot of brushwork reveal. Many, many color washes - it's not merely two colors (click on image to enlarge, to get a sense of the surface complexity).

At least for the time being, it feels necessary to get down to very basic shapes that are pleasing to my eye; they seem to portend an essence greater than themselves. The title "Obeisance" has come from out of nowhere. The shapes of everything have become increasingly apparent on my daily walks. Leaves, twigs, shadows, stones, dead insect shells... A language that has no meaning or significance other than the feelings they evoke, that point elsewhere, beyond themselves.

See what happens when you sit alone, day after day, painting abstractly? There wasn't one other person in the entire building today (or yesterday). Eerie but OK. It gets deep.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sun. Aug. 28, 2011

This is the other painting I'm working on now. It's very confusing. The central red shape is an organ similar to a heart but that's about all I know. Again, I'm in unknown, unexplored space. Goes with the (abstract painting) territory. Not sure of the orientation; it might end up being upside down?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sat, August 27, 2011

Refer to the image of Aug. 8; that is this one now. You can see how it has evolved (or devolved) since then. It's still "in process," although it's very close to being finished.

In some ways, larger starker shapes are currently preferable (to me). Yet subtle washes and thin lines still demand to be included, in spite of my preferences. This is the beauty of abstraction; there is no true destination at which to arrive. It is all inner process and intuition. A quote attributed to Salvador Dali is, "I know what I eat; I know not what I do." Mann Hawks knows even less.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sat, August 13, 2011

This is a smaller painting; only 10" x 15." Symmetry is always challenging, even if it is only a small part of the total composition. Sometimes it's satisfying to have to concentrate so much and not get clever.
The center diamond shape was painted and then flocked black. I like that textural component.

Thurs, Aug 11, 2011

Facing the wall I face while painting. Look at all the pretty little pictures. The painting on the upper right is one of the newest.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mon, Aug. 8, 2011

Things, as usual, have been interesting in the studio, as well as throughout the entire world. But I have more control over my world. Slightly. Here are 2 views of a new 18" square painting. Haven't decided which side is up/down (the first image is how I was painting it, for the most part). Nice colors, nice shapes, much ambiguity. And it seems to be nearly completed.
Who is in control here? What is being created? Much chaos and yet it is manageable, non-threatening. Unlike the world economy. But Art is not controlled or threatened by world events; It is much larger than that penny ante stuff. Even if it IS only 18 inches square.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday, Jul. 8, 2011

Here is a newer painting, using the famous "drippery" style. I'm calling it "Ghostular" because it is very ghost-y and unconscious. Figures and forms emerging and recessing - and a whole lot of "I don't know what's going on here." It's an accurate snapshot of my life right now. Half ugly and half beautiful. And largely undetermined. It has been rewarding to just move paint around without any real (conscious) agenda. Being truthful in exploration.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weds, June 15, 2011

Many profound changes going on within. Which obviously impact the painting process. As of late, everything is rather chaotic and unresolved (I'm not happy with what is happening in the studio). Yesterday I more or less destroyed a painting once again. It appears ugly and directionless once again. In spite of all that, I was fairly calm and realized that I was "moving paint" and everything was as it should be, etc. The truly creative process is not what we ever expect.

I'm taking a vacation!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sat, May 28, 2011

OK, this is the painting that almost killed me. Don't let its size (16" x 20") fool you. It has gone through about 8 major incarnations before arriving here. It isn't finished just yet - but it is very close to completion now. Life, death, growth...the usual themes.
I was inspired to keep moving ahead, especially after speaking with Eleanor McGough last week. But, admittedly, it was very rough going these last 3 weeks or so. All a part of the game. Painting is not for the weak of heart.

Remember that you can click on the image to increase the size, to view more of the fine details.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weds, May 25, 2011

I've been MIA for about 2 months now. Painting has been not happening very much. There are a few things going on, primarily health/energy issues. Things will resolve themselves as they always do but, for now, it's kind of a low key time. The focus is elsewhere and the studio is just sitting empty with all those paintings staring blankly from the wall. Peace, time out. It's all good. I'm regrouping, gathering my resources. Painting isn't always the way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011

This is still in process, size 30" x 40." I'm relatively exhausted, having explored so many different aesthetic avenues. Infinity can wear you out! So this piece is purposefully much less complex. Many different orange layers, with many more to come. I'm expecting that the painting will remain fairly simple - but one never knows. Please stay simple!

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011

Finished this one today. It's been almost done for over a week but today it received its final touches. 9" x 12." Kind of spring-y.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday, Apr. 1, 2011

It's already been a month since the last posting! I've been to FL for 2 weeks (Mar 8 -23) so it's taken a bit of adjustment and effort to get back into the swing of painting in MN. Painting has not been easy...it's been fraught with difficulty - probably because there is so much psychic energy, personal and worldly, that seeks expression and resolution. It feels like I'm on a precipice and that it's now necessary to make a tremendous leap from the entire past, into a new world. It demands a lot but promises even more.

This image (first posted on Feb. 27) continues to be vexing. I'm struggling not to overwork it and, yet, it is not complete by any means. It may just have to evolve very slowly and gradually. "Jellyfish Pagoda" stings, floats and is brittle - and ominous. Also looks like a witch's hat. It certainly fits in with the times right now. Our tsunami spring...

I'm simultaneously working on 2 other smaller paintings. Everything is slogging along.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mon, Mar. 1, 2011

OK, this one is done now. Still doesn't have a title yet. It's kind of rough but that's how it's staying. All refinements have already been made. There are a few tiny dots that were added (click on image to see larger pic). If I was forced to say anything more about this one, I'd tell you that it seems to be an image of a hunched over person whose heart chakra is coming out and expanding upwards. But that would be nutty, wouldn't it?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sun. Feb. 27, 2011

Here is a new one, still in process. I'm referring to it as "Pagoda Jellyfish" for the time being. It's got a long way to go although I don't want to overwork it either. Hanging back, proceeding slowly, looking and contemplating it a lot. Stand by, German art collectors. 36" square.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sat, Feb. 26, 2011

And now for something completely different. Yes, horizontal stripes are sometimes hard to take. In previous paintings using them, I included symmetrical, Rorschach shapes. But a different approach insinuated itself this time. Oddly, these shapes seem to form a silhouetted pictorial event; I see things happening here that were never predetermined or, even, desired. The painting is still in process at this time but further changes will be subtle. Essentially, it is finished. 16" x 12"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fri, Feb. 25, 2011

It is finished. The title is "The Way Through The Way Through." 30" x 48" It isn't a focused image; it's very amorphous purposefully. I really like this one in spite of the ambiguity. Or perhaps because of the ambiguity. Space, underwater, formation of life, emergence, cellular life. At any given moment my life is reborn.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thurs, Feb. 24, 2010

Not such a great photo but better than nothing. This is the 9" x 12" symmetrical/asymmetrical painting that was just varnished. I even used a little metallic gold on it. There are many different kind of symmetries, yes? Opposing symmetries, imbalanced symmetries. complementary symmetries...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weds, Feb. 23, 2011

Damn, I keep forgetting to bring my camera to the studio! There are a lot of things happening there. The big (30" x 48") blue and black painting, "The Way Through The Way Through" is officially done (see Jan. 22). A new 9" x 12" symmetrical/asymmetrical painting is done and just got varnished. A 36" square is well underway and a wild 16" x 20" striped piece is also moving along well. And it is particularly fascinating. Things are happening. Got to get pictures!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011

Here is the finished painting (see Jan. 29). Very pink and light orange. You just never know what's going to happen with these things. It's fun to get into such an unusual color palette; it's like waking up in a foreign country, wearing a dress! Not that I would necessarily know what that is like. OK, time to shut up. Painting completed Feb. 12, 2011. NFS.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Weds, Feb. 2, 2011

Pontification 1:

I met briefly with painter Freddy Muñoz yesterday. He is a dedicated artist who is probably in his 7o's. Highly respectable and venerable; he has truly walked the walk. We spoke about his recent show, sales, why we paint and things of that nature. Concerns common to both of us.

All of which makes me want to address the matter of why I paint. I'm 60 years old (who ever thought they would live that long? It was comforting thinking I'd be dead by 40). Reflecting on life so far, it would seem that some of us were born NOT to fit into the world-at-large. As it should be. By referring to oneself as an artist, it is somewhat possible to distance oneself from many of the petty goings-on and absurdity of everyday life. But there has to be more to it than that.

What are artists doing?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011

Here is a new one that just got started two days ago. I like the contrast of the black forms with the other, more dimensional shapes. And that orange/red squeezy thing cracks me up! Painting is moving along much better, in general.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday, Jan. 28, 2011

Here is the painting that gave me so much trouble earlier in the week (it is the Prussian Blue piece mentioned one week ago). This is how it wanted to be; it fought me viciously until agreeing to this incarnation. And I'm very pleased with it now. Underwater lunar. The saber-like shape wanted to stay and dominate the image.
I really thought that THIS one was going to get tossed. Sometimes painting is a back-and-forth process - especially so when there isn't a preconception of what the finished image will look like. Perhaps that was the problem; neither of us knew where we were going. Which ultimately is the only way to travel.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mon. Jan. 24, 2011

Here are nine 9" x 12" paintings. I call the series "Creating Life," since they are all biomorphic creations. Cellular, micro/macroscopic, evolving, creating themselves. There are four other pieces in this series.
I like them because they are a constant - as opposed to the larger works, which tend to go in dozens of different directions, in varying sizes. They help me to stay grounded. And there is something humble in working this small. It's difficult to get too cocky when a bunch of your work is 9" x 12."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011

Here is a more successful work, 30" x 48." It is not done yet but it seems to be well on its way. I'd been working on this one through December ('10) and it has changed a lot. It started out being a gigantic cell and now it is...this. Kind of a cosmic passageway - and a few cellular remnants can be seen.
My dad is going through some serious health issues and that has impacted this work (as well as that nasty little painting mentioned yesterday). Life or death? Stay or go? This is an optimistic painting, beckoning. And it is still in the process of becoming.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday, Jan. 21, 2011

It was -15 degrees here this morning. The full moon was blasting like a spotlight on the reflective snow, the house was cold and creaked from the subzero temps, the dog was restless...I did not sleep soundly. And painting at the studio has not been going so well this last week. I guess that is inevitable. I've been working on a 16" x 20" canvas and it has been rather frustrating, to say the least. There are probably about 6 or 7 layers on it now and, still, it is ugly and unresolved. It's not going anywhere. And neither am I.

I'm wondering if I should just abandon it or toss it. Or keep working it? I covered it with a coat of Prussian Blue just before leaving for the day. Ugly. It was so different throughout the week; it has gone through so many stages! One day, all day long, I just painted and unpainted a pink sphere on it. The surface is now rough, brush stroked, streaked.

Well, it's just going to sit there for a while. It is not my job to redeem it or save it or turn it around. In many ways, we are equal partners. We need to sit this one out right now - and then see what happens later. There is a real possibility that this painting could be a failure. Maybe it is trying to teach me something. Maybe it has no intention whatsoever of hanging on the studio wall...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011

Back in the studio after a Floridian sanity hiatus. There are only 2 paintings I'm working on now; got to load up on canvases and supplies in the next week.
Here are a couple of images from older works. The cluster of 3 are all 9" x 12." I like to work on smaller pieces to get into fine details. The single piece is even smaller - maybe 8" x 10" (I'll have to check).
Next week I'll post more photos of the current works in progress. Stay warm, Minnesotans.